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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Nov > Nov 28

Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & ETs

From: Bob Young <YoungBob2.nul>
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 2002 01:43:23 EST
Archived: Thu, 28 Nov 2002 10:09:21 -0500
Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & ETs

>From: Catherine Reason <CathyM.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 00:52:02 -0000
>Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & ETs

>>From: Bob Young <YoungBob2.nul>
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2002 21:13:34 EST
>>Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & ETs

>>I don't think this sort of statistical treatment would lend
>>itself, though, to a solution of this sighting. The Hills said
>>the two "stars" (one of which was the UFO) were below the Moon,
>>which was only about 14 deg high. Jupiter, the brightest planet,
>>was only about two degrees (four Moon widths) from the Moon.
>>Saturn was a couple degrees further. These and the Moon were the
>>brightest astronomical objects in the sky. Jupiter was more than
>>100 times brighter than the nearest dimmer star. They all
>>occupied an area smaller than your outstretched hand at arm's
>>length and just above the horizon.

>The real problem was the 75% illuminated Moon, which would have
>made visual observation of the brightest nearby 3rd and 4th
>magnitude stars impossible. There would have been no otherstars
>to see.

>The problem is, unless you know the exact positions of the
>objects in the original report, or you have a priori set limits
>to the errors you'll accept in the measurements of those
>positions, any pattern-matching you do is inevitably arbitrary
>and post-hoc. You simply can't quantify the possibility that
>the match may have ocurred entirely by chance.

Yes, I think in this case, one can with a lot of confidence.
This isn't a matter of a pattern of any three objects. Other
patterns of stars were almost certainly not visible in the
bright Moonlight. There wasn't much "below" below the Moon, less
than 14 degrees. The only natural astronomical objects visible
below the Moon, or anywher near the Moon, would have been the
two planets.

>In fact, the brightness of Jupiter only adds in another problem
>for the "Jupiter" explanation. According to the description in
>"The Interupted Journey", Betty Hill at first saw a star or
>planet close to the Moon, and later on noticed another object
>above the star.

Which she also described as a "star". They were travelling in a
car, Saturn was only 9 degrees above a perfect sea horizon.
Horizon obtructions, or clouds for that matter, undoubtedly
blocked the view at times on their drive.

>One of the features of the image segmentation process I
>described before, is that the objects which "pop out" of the
>visual display are those which are most dissimilar to the
>background.  In this case, that obviously means the biggest and
>brightest objects. So the two pop-out objects should have been
>the Moon and Jupiter, and not the Moon and Saturn as the
>"Jupiter" hypothesis would require.

You are assuming a completely static display. They were in a
moving car, with changing horizon obstructions. If one planet
was too low to be seen (Saturn), how would she know that the one
that she could see was the "brightest". Why weren't there three
stars reported (two planets and the UFO)?

It is clear that she at not time reported the number of star-
like object needed to have a UFO.

>Of course, one can't be sure of this - Jupiter might have been
>obscured behind a cloud, or a tree, or the rear-view mirror, or
>anything, during the first observation - but given the
>configuration you describe, with Jupiter effectively in the
>center of the alignment and Saturn at the edge, that actually
>seems extremely unlikely.

"Extremely unlikely"? Two star-like objects are described,
below the Moon, when no stars could be seen. Two planets,
bright enough to be seen, are known to have been below the
Moon. The upper one brighter than the lower one, matching
the description of the Hills. At no time were three star-like
objects reported. "Extremely likely" to be the planet Jupiter
is more like it.

>But the real point I want to make is that there's no need to get
>involved in an increasingly myopic cycle of interpretation and
>reinterpretation of the initial sighting.

Myopic cycle? You are prepared to ignore what can be known
because the witness had a subsequent tale? This is a recipe for
non-investigation. If this were the only way to proceed, no UFO
sighting ever reported would have been discovered to have been
prosaic, because subsequently, the witness had claimed that it
was a UFO.

I don't know how many actual UFO sighting reports you have ever
investigated, but the overwhelming majority, if one has up-to-
date information and enough time to devote, turn out to be
various prosaic explanations. We would be nowhere if "myopic"
methods of identifying prosaic stimuli had been ignored because
we believed in the infallibility of unsupported eyewitness

>The "Jupiter"
>hypothesis can readily be tested against the subsequent
>evolution of the sighting. All we need to do is ask whether the
>subsequent events are consistent with an observation of Jupiter,
>given what we know of the human visual system. And the answer,
>of course, is no, so the "Jupiter" hypothesis is effectively

Oh, come on. A bizarre tale of little alien spacemen only
surfacing after months of reading saucer book folklore
"falsifies" a report of a "star" located just where a planet was
in the sky? I don't buy it.

But then, this case is one of the classics, and is a microcosm
 of the flying saucer conundrum. More than 50 years of
sightings, claims and investigations and not still not one
single unequivacly proven alien visit.

Clear skies,

Bob Young

When it comes to flying saucers, it is still January, 1950
- - - Curtis Peebles

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